Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo
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They, along with two members of the incumbent panel, Chetan Sharma and Harvinder Singh, were interviewed on Tuesday by the BCCI-appointed Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC). All the shortlisted candidates are understood to have made presentations to the panel, which is expected to submit its recommendations to the board this week. The other candidate in the fray from east zone is SS Das, the former India opener.
Sharath, the former Tamil Nadu batter, has emerged as a strong contender to replace Sunil Joshi, who chose against re-applying, from South Zone. If Sharath gets the job, it will be an elevation from his current role as chairman of the junior men's panel. Sharath's committee picked the India squad that went on to win the Under-19 World Cup in February last year.
From the east, it's likely Das will replace his former India and Odisha team-mate Debasis Mohanty. Das played 23 Tests and four ODIs between 2000 and 2002, and 180 first-class games in all.
The need for a new selector from East Zone would have come about even if the BCCI hadn't invited applications for a new panel following India's T20 World Cup campaign, since Mohanty has completed the maximum-stipulated cumulative five-year term across various cricket committees, having been part of both junior and senior panels.
Similarly, the board would've had to anyway appoint a new selector from West Zone as the Chetan Sharma-led selection panel was reduced to four members in late 2021 after Abey Kuruvilla, the former Mumbai and India fast bowler, completed the maximum tenure of five years. While Kuruvilla moved on to the role of BCCI general manager (cricket development), the board did not appoint a replacement on the selection panel.
On Monday, in perhaps the biggest hint yet that there may not be a new chairman after all, Chetan Sharma was part of the BCCI's review meeting along with head coach Rahul Dravid, captain Rohit Sharma, NCA chief VVS Laxman and the board's top-brass to discuss the roadmap to the home 50-over World Cup scheduled for later this year.
However, the incumbent panel hasn't been asked to report to various venues for the fourth round of Ranji Trophy matches, which started today. It had initially been handed an extension until the end of the year to pick the squads for the T20Is and ODIs against Sri Lanka, apart from being asked to track the third round of Ranji Trophy matches from December 27-30.